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This review is from: Seagate 500GB USB 2.0 / WiFi Wireless Mobile External Hard Drive STDC500402 Red
Pros: I've used or reviewed numerous wireless storage products and most give you an unstable connection or flat-out don't work except as an expensive wired USB drive.
After my experience with Samsung's attempt (See N82E16822152423), I didn't expect much from this unit because they and Seagate are wireless drive partners (and Seagate bought Samsung's storage division), but it turns out that Seagate knows how to get it right.
+ It actually works! Every single time!
+ I was able to stream a high-definition episode of Big Bang theory to my old Samsung GS3 phone without the slightest problem.
+ I was even able to steam a video from the drive while simultaneously copying it to the phone! It was a little jumpy, though.
+ Seagate's software is very easy to use and hasn't been frustrating so far.
+ The Seagate app does not silently eat battery in the background when not in use. I know this shouldn't be a big deal, but so many Android apps (even some from Google) eat battery in the background and can but battery life in half. Seagate's app seems to have been written by developers that know what they are doing!
+ The software is smart enough to know that an MKV file is video. A lot of software refuses to play or even acknowledge MKV files. It even bins them in the right folder (Video).
Cons: I took notes on some minor gotchas that you should know about:
1. My biggest complaint is that you can't enable wireless while plugged into USB, even just a USB charger.
This is my biggest use case: Use the drive as wireless storage for a tablet while the drive is plugged in so that I don't have to worry about the battery running out. Why??
Fortunately you can work around this by powering on the drive, waiting for it to go wireless, and THEN connecting to USB. Please fix this, Seagate!
2. (See above) You cannot use both USB and wireless storage at the same time. When wireless, the drive isn't detected on USB. When you start as a USB drive, it won't enable wireless. See #1.
3. Establishing a wireless network isn't slow, but it isn't super fast. It takes about 20-30 seconds.
4. Data copied to the wireless drive from a mobile device is hidden from Windows/Mac. You can still get to it by showing hidden files and then looking in the hidden GoFlexData and .GoFlexData_thumbs folders, The directory contents seem well organized, at least.
5. The app seems to cache a list of files and not refresh that list, even when you totally disconnect and reconnect the wireless drive. For example, I disconnected the drive, plugged it into USB, copied a video to the drive, disconnected USB (see #2) and re-enabled wireless, but the Seagate app did not see the file until I tapped "refresh". Doing so is hardly a big deal, and it works perfectly every time, but isn't very intuitive.
Other Thoughts: Through wireless, I was able to copy data to my phone at 3-5 megabytes/sec (24-40 megaBITS/sec).
That's plenty for most streaming but could be faster for large file copies.
Please keep in mind that the drive may transfer faster to newer phones. Mine is about 2 years old.
When you copy files from the wireless from the wireless drive to your mobile device, those files appear under the "SeagateMedia" folder. (This isn't obvious at first)
Pros: I planned to killed my review unit before posting so I could discuss its durability.
The dang thing wouldn't die!
I've been writing and deleting music to it for months with a batch file.
Besides a few reboots and forgetting to restart the script a few times, it's been writing all day and night.
I didn't install OCZ's "SSD Guru" just in case it enables read-only mode on well-worn drives, so I don't have an exact endurance number. However, I estimate I've written 25,000 - 30,000 GB to the drive, well past its rated endurance.
Choosing a modern SSD based on performance today is a little like choosing which jet fighter to use for your grocery store run. They are all vastly (50x+) faster than conventional hard drives (analogous to sedans), so I doubt it matters to most people.
The ARC 100 "feels" par with my main system drive: An Intel 730 480GB. In tests, the ARC100 is about 20% slower writing random data and 50% slower reading. This sounds like quite a bit, but SSDs are rarely the bottleneck in system performance. I noticed the difference only when copying large files to a very fast drive array.
The ARC 100 as be an affordable drive for people that want SSD performance but don't want to pay a premium.
Its performance is lower than more expensive drives, and its long-term durability is rated lower by OCZ, but for practical buyers that want a blazing fast application load time and boot time, the OCZ ARC 100 will fit the bill without a large bill.
Cons: OCZ released a firmware fix that indicates the early OCZ ARC 100 firmware had some problems. I never used the old firmware since I always update to the latest as soon as I get a new piece of hardware.
These notes sounds scary, but no scarier than the massive problems that Samsung and other manufacturers have had with their early firmwares:
The notes (Source: http://ocz.com/consumer/download ):
Fixed a corner case issue with DDR corruption on 480GB capacity drives
Improved robustness of uncorrectable error handling
Improved read retry on bad block list
Numerous stability and reliability improvements
Other Thoughts: Did you know that some models of OCZ SSD like the Octane and Petrol had more than a 40% failure rate? Compare that to Intel SSDs at less than half a percent. OCZ went super cheap and their reputation was harmed.
Lesson: Update your SSD firmware, no matter the brand!
This review is from: SAMSUNG Wireless Mobile Media Streaming Device STSHX-MTD15EQ (HX-MTD15EQ/G2)
Pros: +Very fast sustained transfer rates: 121MB/sec reading, 117MB/sec writing (this is on an Intel X99 chipset).
+Could work as a wireless streaming hard drive once the bugs are worked out.
Cons: The reason to buy this hard drive over a conventional 1.5TB drive is the wireless streaming capabilities to your phone. Using the latest firmware software as of this review date, I could not get streaming to work, and I am using a Samsung phone!
- The software takes a long time (60+ seconds) to connect and asks for the password more than once per connection.
- Once the Samsung Wireless software connects, it tells you the battery charge level. Submenus you can also find available disk space, renamed the device, etc..
- Actually listing files seems to be out of reach. 20 minutes now and the software still hasn't listed a single thing. (I had previously copied a bunch of MKV movies and JPG images to the drive).
- Even when using the Samsung Wireless software, the phone kept switching to a different wireless network than the hard drive, which forced me to login (entering the password several times) again.
- Loses its wireless capabilities when plugged into a USB port.
- Samsung Wireless software reports a full battery at first, then changes its mind. After 20 minutes of charging, it is at 34%. After another 4 hours of charging, it is at ... 34%.
- You need to hold the power button for an awkwardly long amount of time to start the unit, and just tapping the power button briefly illuminates a blue light, implying the drive is on when it is not.
- The manual is very basic and poorly translated. Examples:
"Standardized data cable
This may increase the wrong operation and may cause a malfunction"
"Samsung Wireless has a network password from factory to restrict access. The initial password is 10 times '0'
(ten times zero is just zero...)
Other Thoughts: Good idea, but the product was released long before it was ready.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Charles B.
Date Joined: 01/02/03
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